Rats of Somerville

On October 30, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Documentary on Somerville’s Rodent Epidemic

By Harry Kane


14 Responses to “Rats of Somerville”

  1. MarketMan says:

    gross! and why hasn’t the city implemented the approach which poisons and sterilizes them??

  2. it makes sense says:

    thank you to the people who put this together. I don’t hear any answers coming from the city. if an exterminator says dusting burrows works, why aren’t we doing it? The Health Dept .’leader’ says the rats have not been found to carry disease? Is she kidding? She seems to be saying it’s all good cuz there are no reported rat bites. So, do we wait till there ARE rat bites? cuz itmakes sense that’s not far off. Prevention anyone?

  3. Susan Bottari says:

    This talks about trash and construction but does not address dog waste and the explosion of dog population in the city. That is a contributor as well.

    Another contributor is bird feeders and compost.

    We see city officials on on this video, why can’t we get something done !

  4. samira says:

    Susan, you are right. Not many people are aware that dog poop is one of the things that attract rats, as it is a food source for them.

  5. sense says:

    Susan, so true. we now allow raising chickens, etc. Chicken feed + Chicken poop, recipe for rodent attraction. If you try to make this city as densely built and populated as Manhattan, these are Manhattan-style problems that result. I’ve stopped all birdfeeding and composting until something improves. ALSO, Port-a-Potties at all these construction sites. Think about it—water/human waste sitting for weeks, a Rat’s Dream Come True.

  6. L says:

    It’s probably a combination of reasons: longer summers, overflowing dumpsters and trash cans (especially behind restaurants), and an uptick in construction. I don’t think the $50 ticket for overflowing trash is enough of a deterrent for the slumlord behind us. He probably just thinks of it as a cost of business. Rats out there tonight to scare the trick or treaters.

  7. samira says:

    And yet, despite all of the ways the city is creating the problem or exacerbating the problem, if you have a problem you get no relief or help from the city. They blame you. Baiting sewers is a waste of time.

  8. MarketMan says:

    Agree, raising chickens in the city is a bad idea.

  9. Paul says:

    Ticket trash problems once a week until the property owner changes.

  10. Rod says:

    Some answer from a professional: All the sources of food from dog waste, compost, bird feeders, uncovered trash bins, restaurants, construction sites etc. have and will always be available to urban rodents. The rail road line, absentee landlords, a large diverse population in the cities along with stronger controls over rodenticide applications are also contributors.
    Dusting rodent burrows with “powders” (rodenticide tracking powder) works fine. But, can take any where from 7-12 days to work. Placements of appropriate rodent baits works much faster and in some case suppress the rodents appetite.
    Baiting the sewers, if done properly helps….in most cases it is not done properly.
    The key to proper rodent control is 1/food elimination 2/harborage sites removed 3/education of residents 4/stronger enforcement by city officials
    Like those that watch this video, read these posts, call 311 and have a serious concern about the urban rat problem are not the people that are part of the problem.
    Working together, helping find the food & harborage sites and assisting the city is a good step forward. Speak to your neighbors and work with city officials. If you have any questions and we can be of help let us know.

  11. sandy says:

    The biggest problem remains the multitude of construction sites all over the city. Tearing down abandoned buildings, digging deep below the surface, storing trash and construction materials for weeks or months, portapottys placed for just as long, and it goes on. The city needs to stop blaming the residents and make the people who are getting rich off the city pay to have an area around their site exterminated and declared rodent free!

  12. No, Paul says:

    Paul, you’re falling into the trap of blaming homeowners. Absentee landlord problem properties, yes. But the average homeowner with average weekly trash going out is not the problem here. All the issues covered in this thread are exploding in volume everyday, and those people are not touched. Then folks want to give weekly tickets to us schmucks.

  13. Paul says:

    I’m not falling into any traps. If you are following the regulations, you won’t get any tickets! Why do you feel threatened? If it is fact true that only absentee landlords are in violation, then they are the only ones who will get tickets. Having to examine our own behavior as citizens and the city having to guide people to better behavior is an uncomfortable PR problem but it needs to be done.

    Construction sites disturb the homes and pathways of existing rodents, but they don’t create new rodents. Seeking to blame construction sites seems like misplaced resentment.

    Rod seems to have the most correct overall sense of things.

    Let’s take the finger pointing out of this and just take a rational multi pronged approach.

  14. Emelda says:

    Just lift the damn regulations on the pesticides we can use and that will solve the problem. It’s gotten bad because of all the goody-two-shoers running amuck here whine that they don’t want to disturb nature. Keep the kids and pets indoors until all the rats are dead.

    At this point I’d be all for napalming some of these neighborhoods and getting rid of the rats and the stupid people handcuffing what we can use.

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